This section examines two rhetorical events as case study examples of how civic engagement and digital citizenship happen on Pinterest. Although Pinterest is cast as a space in which "silly feminine daydreams" dominate, I argue that the mundane rhetorical and civic engagements that occur on Pinterest are significant and representative of the public rhetorics that shape the everyday composing practices and experiences of digital citizens (Tekobbe, 2013, p. 382). Moreover, as a space in which numerous women are partaking in rhetorical negotiations about various topics, from recipes to federal spending, I situate the composing practices and digital literacies common to Pinterest as a form of cyberfeminism.
In this section, I look specifically at the repinning of an Obama campaign infographic and the pinning of a meme from the blog The Impolitic to Jane Wang's board, "Issues." I explore the conversations that emerged following the repinnings on the attached comment threads in response to these pins. These particular rhetorical events—the sharing and redistribution of political content and the commentary it elicited—stand out on the site as a whole, and in Wang's account in particular. Pins and conversations about women's healthcare, public broadcasting, and politics deviate from the supposed norm of Pinterest content. These threads demonstrate how everyday rhetorical activities can function as digital civic engagements, as conversation participants debate various political issues, illustrating, as W. Lance Bennett (2008) noted, how civic engagements are moving beyond traditional arenas. These debates show that women are doing more than just sharing content on Pinterest; instead, they are engaging rhetorically and politically.
Particular user interactions and conversations are showcased here as they demonstrate the dominant themes that emerged within the conversation and engage rhetorically with the civic—both local, Pinterest-community-based issues and larger societal discussions—issues developed here.
Use the links below to read more about the pinned content and the conversation that emerged.